Monday, December 29, 2008

A new book promotion rule.

I've just invented a new rule for book promotion. Actually, it's a new rule for promoting anything: books, movies, fast-food restaurants, any other food products, or even charitable organizations. The rule for promotion is: you have to be alive, or I don't want to see or hear you.

I squirmed a few years ago when I saw an animated version of Colonel Sanders pitching fried chicken. (Not that I'm an authority on the subject, but it seemed to me that the formerly Caucasian chicken man had turned into an African American animated version of himself, which made the whole thing seem even creepier to me.) But now something even more egregious has come along. John Lennon has been resurrected to endorse the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization. You can see the PSA on YouTube.

Yes, I know that Yoko said it was okay for her late husband to endorse a worthy cause like OLPC, even though John wasn't here. So the pitch is legal. Worrisome, but legal.

As a book publicist, here's my new number one book promotion rule: I'll only take on book publicity projects with a living author who can speak to the media. Media interviews could certainly be handled by digitally-remastered authors. But, somehow, I'd feel more comfortable with book promotion projections that were backed by living, breathing authors who are here with us now.

Sorry, Yoko. I respected your husband, too, and I love his music as much as everyone else in the world. But I don't want to see, or hear, John Lennon showing his support for an organization or product that didn't even exist in his lifetime. Fair enough?